AAt any given daylight moment, some 13.5 million drivers are on hand-held phones, according to a recent study by NHTSA.
OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, DISTRACTED DRIVING HAS RECEIVED ATTENTION FROM THE MEDIA, LOCAL AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, SAFETY PROFESSIONALS, INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC. INITIAL CONCERN AROSE FROM THE INCREASE IN DRIVING ACCIDENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF CELL PHONES, MOST PARTICULARLY AMONG TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS. YET THERE ARE MANY OTHER DRIVER DISTRACTIONS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE VEHICLE. THESE DISTRACTIONS PRESENT SERIOUS CHALLENGES FOR ALL DRIVERS.
SOME OF THESE CHALLENGES INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: 1. THE INCREASED NUMBER OF DRIVERS ON U.S. HIGHWAYS. THE OVER FLOWING OF ROADS 2. THE HURRY UP AND GO ATTITUDE. 3. THE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES CELL PHONES, ADVANCED MUSIC SYSTEMS GPS USE. 4. CURRENT SOCIAL /ECONOMIC SITUATIONS HIGH STRESS LEVELS, ROAD RAGE
COGNITIVE - WE LOOK, BUT WE DON’T SEE. VISUAL - LOOKING AWAY, FIXATING SIGHT ON OTHER EVENTS AUDITORY - MUSIC & CONVERSATIONS BIOCHEMICAL - FIDGETING WITH THE RADIO, CLIMATE CONTROL KNOBS
There are three types of distractions and they are anything that takes your: 1.eyes off the road (visual). 2.mind off the road (cognitive). 3.hands off the steering wheel (manual). More than 3,000 people died in 2010 in crashes blamed on distracted driving.
FROM A BEHAVIORAL PERSPECTIVE, SERIOUS OR FATAL CRASHES ARE CAUSED BY: 1.INATTENTION/DISTRACTIONS 2.IMPAIRMENT (DUI/DWI) 3.SPEED & AGGRESSION (ROAD RAGE INCLUDED) 4.FATIGUE INATTENTION OR DISTRACTED DRIVING CONTINUES TO TOP THE LIST OF CAUSES OF SERIOUS OR FATAL CRASHES.
Here are some of the more common reasons why you may get distracted: Use of a mobile phone - this is still by far the most common reason for a driver to be distracted, whether they are actually using the phone of just seeing who is calling / reading a text. Eating - the authorities are now clamping down on people who eat while they drive, arguing (quite rightly) that they cannot be in full control of the vehicle.
Changing the radio - we have all done it, reached down to change the radio station and taken our eyes off the road for a split second, but that is all that it takes. Retrieving something from the back seat or floor - many people have been caught out reaching into the back seat of their car, or bending down to pick something off the floor. Absolutely crazy!
Lighting a cigarette - while this is not as common occurrence as it once was, many drivers can be easily distracted while lighting up a cigarette. A simple conversation with a passenger - these have been the reason for many serious incidents, and are so simple to avoid. You should never distract a driver while the vehicle is in motion. Shaving or applying makeup! While this may seem unbelievable to the average driver, many people have been caught and prosecuted for either shaving or applying make up while driving!
Controversial billboards - Surprisingly there have been many accidents which have occurred due to a drivers attention been distracted for a split second by a billboard. Checking out an accident! As mad as it seems, the sight of an accident on the other side of the road / motorway has often resulted in a mass pileups as other drivers stretch their necks to see what is happening. Waving to pedestrians on the side of the road has often been the cause of many accidents - whether it be family friends or someone you like the look of.
11. Avoid talking on your cell phone. Some states require you to pull over when using your cell phone while driving. 22. Never multi-task while driving. Do not do things like adjusting your radio, compact disc player or GPS unit. 33. Do not read while driving. When you need to read or use a map, pull off the road.
4. Avoid taking your coat off or changing clothes while driving. 5. Put makeup on, comb your hair and shave before leaving your house or office. These things should never be done while driving. 6. Avoid eating or drinking while driving.
7. Keep music at a reasonable level. Listening to music that is too loud or using headphones or earplugs while driving can be distracting and can prevent you from hearing emergency vehicles sharing the road with you. 8. Avoid lighting up or putting out cigarettes, or dealing with falling ashes while driving.
#1 KILLER OF TEENS IS AMERICA = DISTRACTED DRIVING (INCLUDING TEXTING WHILE DRIVING)
5 SECONDS = THE AVERAGE TIME A DRIVER’S EYES ARE OFF THE ROAD WHEN TEXTING. AT 55 MPH, THAT’S ENOUGH TIME TO DRIVE THE LENGTH OF A FOOTBALL FIELD. (360 FEET)
88 PER DAY = 116 -TO 19 –YEAR OLDS WHO DIED IN 2009 FROM MOTER VEHICLE INJURIES.
118% = DDISTRACTION-RELATED HIGHWAY FATALITIES IN AMERICA IN WHICH CELL PHONES USE WHILE DRIVING WAS REPORTED.
23 TIMES = A TEXTING DRIVER IS MORE LIKELY TO GET INTO A CRASH THAN A NON-TEXTING DRIVER
34 % = TEEN WHO DRIVE WHILE DISTRACTED WHO SAY THEY’RE USED TO MULTI-TASKING
777 % = YYOUNG ADULT DRIVERS WHO ARE SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT SAY THAT THEY CAN SAFELY TEXT WHILE DRIVING
85 % = TEXTING TEEN DRIVERS WHO AGREE THAT TEXTING WHILE DRIVING IS A PROBLEM
5500,000 = YYOUNG ADULTS ARE INJURED EACH YEAR BECAUSE OF DISTRACTED DRIVING
11. IF YOU ARE DRIVING 55 MPH, HOW FAR WILL YOU TRAVEL IN 5 SECONDS? 360 FEET 22. WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE KILLER OF TEEN DRIVERS IN AMERICA? DISTRACTED DRIVING 33. WHAT IS THE PERCENTAGE OF DISTRACTED RELATED FATALITIES IN AMERICA IN WHICH CELL PHONE USE WAS REPORTED? 18 PERCENT
44. WHAT IS THE NUMBER OF YOUNG ADULT DRIVERS INJURED YEARLY DUE TO DISTRACTED DRIVING? 500,000 55. WHAT IS THE PERCENTAGE OF TEEN DRIVERS WHO SAY TEXTING WHILE DRIVING IS A PROBLEM? 85 %